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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Susie's Hope'
(Emmanuelle Vaugier, Burgess Jenkins, Andrea Powell, Megan Blake, Gregory Waller, et al / DVD / NR / (2013) 2016 / Green Apple Entertainment)

Overview: An extraordinary story based on true events, 'Susie's Hope' follows a family who triumphs over tragedy and changes lives in their community.

DVD Verdict: I have to say that this movie moved me, a grown man, quite like nothing I have seen in a long, long time. Based on true events, and starring the always-beautiful (truly) Emmanuelle Vaugier, a survivor of a horrific pit bull attack, Donna Lawrence (Vaugier), adopts a pit bull-mix puppy, Susie.

The dog herself has been beaten, set on fire and left for dead, but in their respective moments of darkness, they create a bond between each other that is, seemingly, instantly formidable. Indeed, together they learn to heal, love and forgive as they lead a historic effort to seek justice and protection for all animals.

Now, as much as this is a great, heartfelt movie, and as much as Vaugier and company are tremendous actors, one and all, you should also know - as it adds GREAT weight to the movie, trust me - that Susie plays herself in the film! Yep, the dog you see in the film is the REAL dog from the true story! How cool is that! Indeed, the filmmakers worked closely with the Guilford County Animal Shelter, who saved Susie's life and Marsha Williams, the shelter director, also appears in the film. Oh, and finally, N.C. State Senator Don Vaughan, who introduced "Susie's Law" to the legislature, also appears in the film. He is played by Jon Provost, who played Timmy in Lassie, so here takes on another less role, so to speak.

In closing, Donna Lawrence endured a horror none of us could even imagine; a Pitt Bull attack. Yet, Donna was able to have the grace and understanding to realize that the dog was not to blame, but the people who were supposed to care for him, and instead betrayed and neglected him. If only we could all possess such a level of understanding and love what a world we would truly live in; one and all. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.